More often than not, heart attacks happen at home. Once a cardiac emergency ensues, make sure you’re prepared for it.
There are two kinds of heart attacks. One is a myocardial infarction, which is the slower-moving type due to a blood clot blocking the coronary artery. Usually, it’s accompanied by pain in the arm, jaw, or chest. There could also be shortness of breath, cold sweat, and nausea.
The second kind is cardiac arrest, often foreshadowed by chest pains. During a cardiac arrest, the beating of the heart stops working, essentially stopping blood circulation. Then unconsciousness follows, leading to a person collapsing. It could also lead to death within a few minutes unless CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation is administered.
Fortunately, there are ways to be prepared in case a cardiac emergency occurs, and these include the following:
Get CPR Certification Or Training
CPR may be a skill that you won’t use often. But if a cardiac emergency happens, it might save the lives of many people, especially your loved ones. The importance of having proper certification and training on CPR is more for the purpose of helping your family stay calm before medical help arrives. Such training programs may be acquired from organizations that provide ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certifications in your area.
Call 911 Immediately
As with any other urgent medical emergency, it’s always best to call 911 immediately to get in touch with health professionals who could coach you while the emergency medical response team is on its way to your location. This is helpful, especially if the situation involves your family member and you’re understandably having a hard time focusing because of panic. Regardless if you have prior knowledge about the Hs and Ts of ACLS, it’s sometimes different and more difficult if a loved one is involved. If a cardiac emergency strikes, never hesitate to call for help to get assistance and ease your mind until you get your bearing back.
Learn To Use Automated External Defibrillators
AEDs or automated external defibrillators could be considered as an optional equipment since not every household keeps this device. Once available only for trained emergency professionals, AEDs may now be available to everyone. There are portable types suitable for home use. You don’t even need a prescription to purchase them.
The best thing about AED is that it’s easy to use. If your family has one, it could be beneficial to learn how to use it properly as it may increase the chance of someone’s survival. You only need to attach the device’s pads to the bare chest of the victim. Then, the device will analyze the heart rhythm. If it’s the type that could be fixed by a shock, the device will tell you to stand clear and press the Shock button. During a cardiac emergency, know that CPR only buys you time, and it may not restore an optimal heart rhythm. For this reason, an AED would work by sending electric shocks to the heart to restore its normal rhythm.
It’s important to know that some AEDs need occasional updates. So, if you have one at home, you should register it to the manufacturer to stay updated and get more tips on how to use it properly.
Have An Emergency Plan
When it comes to emergencies, every second matters. Having a plan beforehand is vital to save time and save a life as well. Your emergency plan must emphasize how to stay in touch throughout an emergency. It’s about thinking ahead for the worst-case scenario so you and your loved ones could work together efficiently as it happens.
When making your emergency plan, it may be a good idea for every member to have an emergency contact. Once everyone’s emergency contact has been determined, they should memorize this contact’s phone number.
Determine Your Family’s Medical Risk
Perhaps the most significant preparation of all would still be prevention. Thus, it could be time to check if your family has a history of cardiovascular disease as it may increase your chances of having it, too. It’s also helpful to note other conditions that might contribute to a possible attack. Regularly consulting your family doctor and specialists could keep you informed of your current medical status as well.
But regardless of knowing your family’s medical history, it could also help to make appropriate diet changes to ensure having a healthy heart. Thus, living a healthy life matters in this day and age.
Cardiac emergencies may happen anytime to anyone and anywhere. When it does, it pays to be prepared by having the proper knowledge, attitude, and skills when dealing with the situation. Thus, educating yourself and your family members about the various aspects mentioned above could save anyone’s life in the future.